John Brown has just come off of the best year, statistically, of his six-year NFL career, hauling in 72 catches for 1,060 yards and six touchdowns. This is only the second time in Brown’s career that he’s reached the 1,000 yard receiving mark. He seemed to be the go-to target for Josh Allen when in trouble and his blazing speed downfield complemented Cole Beasley. Heading into the 2020 season, Brown won’t be the number-one wide receiver on the depth chart now that Stefon Diggs is on the roster. This is nothing new for Brown, as he played behind legendary wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald with the Arizona Cardinals for four seasons. With that said, let’s take a look at how he’s fared as the number-two receiver during his career.
After being drafted in the third round in 2014, Brown came into the league and worked behind Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd in Arizona. Brown would play all 16 games, with a total of 48 receptions for 696 yards and five touchdowns.
2015 was a strong year for both Brown and the Cardinals. Arizona would finish 13-3 and would make it to the NFC Conference Championship, but would lose to Cam Newton and the Sean McDermott-run, Carolina defense. 2015 was the only other year in Brown’s career where he posted over 1,000 yards receiving. He finished with 65 catches for 1,003 yards and seven touchdowns, second behind only Larry Fitzgerald.
2016 and 2017 were down years for Brown as he was still behind Fitzgerald and Floyd on the depth chart and he dealt with injuries in the 2017 season. He would play 15 games in 2016, with 39 catches, for 517 yards and just two touchdowns. He also only appeared in ten games in 2017, with 21 catches for 299 yards and three touchdowns.
In 2018, Brown signed with the Baltimore Ravens where he worked with the 31-year-old, Michael Crabtree. Brown would be a top target on the Ravens’ offense, and would pull in 42 catches for 715 and five touchdowns.
With the addition of Stefon Diggs for the 2020 season, John Brown may find himself with the opportunities to succeed even more. Working against the number-two corners for opposing teams could make the Buffalo Bills offense a real struggle to game plan for. Brown and the Bills have a chance to do something that hasn’t been done since 1995—win the AFC East.